Get Your Learn On 2

A few months ago I touched upon a few resources out there to help those who endeavor to better themselves, achieve an education without suffering the constraints of money or acquiring a massive amount of debt. It’s a firm belief of mine that education should be as freely accessible and attainable as it is to catch an episode of Seinfeld on television at any given time. I did my bit in college and found that the money didn’t justify the quality of education I was receiving. Besides I find I learn better on my own. In the past I taught myself several things with overwhelming success which goes to show you why I’m doing almost none of the those things right now, however I sit here with blog after blog touching upon the random. So the swimming, roller skating, singing, and poetry gigs didn’t pan out. Sadly for my readership the computer skills did and now you’re made to suffer my endless rants. Back to point I’m very pleased that I’m not the only one who believes education should be something anyone can take a nibble out of whenever they feel like it. In the time since my last article on the subject, Khan Academy has grown quite a bit as a great resource as well as a tutor to those so brave as to acknowledge the need to always continue to learn. If anything let it serve as a resource to expand your knowledge of civics and politics to enable a more informed decision as we approach election time.

For those computer geeks looking to get some development chops there’s also Code Academy to help you learn a bit about programming. Looking to freshen up the Microsoft skillset but don’t want to drop a few grand to update your hardware then there’s the Microsoft Virtual Labs. For the savvy Linux cats well you already know, download a distro, virtualize, and start playing.

Personally every quarter or so I pick one or two subjects to learn more about, that have absolutely nothing to do with my day job. I leverage the online resources as well as local libraries to help fill in the gaps. If anything, at the very least one should endeavor to review things they learned years ago to keep your mind fresh and if you’re like me, to stop forgetting everything. (By the by, it works better than wasting your day on Bejewelled and Sudoku) Below are a few resources I’ve been using in my studies and if you find yourself wondering what about credentials for all this stuff, well be patient it’s coming.

Open Yale Courses – That’s right you get to flaunt that you spent that time on the treadmill listening to lectures from Yale. What I enjoy about these lectures is that they provide the syllabus, book listing for the course, and the ability to download the content for offline review.

Interactive-Biology – A good resource although Khan has a hefty amount on all the sciences. However, it is good to get different perspectives on any subject in order to develop a good foundational understanding.

Nova – Yes, I’m pimping PBS yet again. At the risk of losing cool points with my friends I watch quite a bit of Nova with a laptop nearby. I’ll take notes, research some of the covered topics to see what’s happened since the broadcast and even occasionally read the books mentioned.


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